I know you all know about SuperFoods and all the rage they bring. Well, there's another health craze, not quite as rage filled but still very enthusiastic. I'm terming it the SuperNutrients craze.
A few decades ago the SuperNutrient was calcium. And this was great because we all want healthy bones of course.
And then the SuperNutrient moved onto Vitamin D, especially for those of us who are strangers to the sun majority of the year. Vitamin D became the king of all vitamins for immune support, fighting diseases, and healthy bones.
And now I'm seeing a shift in the SuperNutrient trend. The new nutrient of focus is Magnesium, and because I hate missing out on trends (and because it is is good for you) I'm jumping on board, too.
There are a number of reasons for deficiency in magnesium: soil depletion, not eating enough whole foods, effect of herbicides blocking mineral uptake, stress (this thing again) and interference of prescription drugs, just to name a few.
Let's go back to that stress thing again. Have you ever noticed that your cravings for chocolate increase when you're stressed out? Alas, an explanation for your inability to keep your hands off the chocolate bar. Your favorite high quality chocolate bar is a rich source of magnesium.
High levels of stress cause your body to deplete its magnesium stores. It all makes sense now!
But what is more fascinating to me is why magnesium is so important. In our growing obsession with nutrition science we tend to focus on singular nutrients. But the reality is that all of these nutrients interact with each other. The result being that balance is key!
Calcium alone does not create healthy bones, its a balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and other elements. Of course our body does a great job in regulating this balance, but if we're deficient in one and over-doing it on another, symptoms can occur.
Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: loss of appetite, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, nausea and weakness. Ongoing deficiency issues are more intense, but I don't want to scare you off right now.
So how do you get more magnesium? Ah, I'm so glad you asked.
First step, eat real foods and a wide variety of foods. If you do this you'll likely get a good balance of all the nutrients you need. But you want to know what specific foods are good for magnesium? Ok, ok.
- Green leafy vegetables (spinach and chard)
- Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame)
Unfortunately, our soils are depleted and so often we can't get enough of the vitamins and minerals we need. Magnesium especially is farmed out of the soil making food sources inadequate.
Supplementation is a great way to increase your magnesium levels. Although I'm not going to go into detail on the different types of sources, I want you to know that there are a number of different types of magnesium supplements, all having slightly different health benefits. Do some research on this to find out what type would be best for you.
Another great solution for increasing your magnesium levels is an Epson salt bath.
It's a pretty rough solution, I know but I know you can suck it up and do it! This is a great way to absorb the magnesium into your body through the skin. If you don't have the time for a full bath, you can try a foot bath as well. Not quite as relaxing, but still pretty spectacular!
So time to jump on the SuperNutrient bandwagon and up your magnesium game!
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If you think you have concerning issues with magnesium deficiency please seek professional medical assistance.